Who deserves this year’s ‘Spirit’ honors? Chamber making plans for 2018 State of the Hill

Last year, the chamber recognized two women developers reshaping Capitol Hill, had a different director, and the guest of honor was Mayor Ed Murray. It’s been a long year. The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its 2018 State of the Hill event and Spirit of the Hill award ceremony. You can lend a hand.

The chamber’s Mel Burchett tells CHS the nonprofit’s board is gathering possible nominations for the award designed to honor “an individual or organization that has shown an outstanding commitment to the Capitol Hill community.” The Spirit Award “represents the best of Capitol Hill through community service, excellence, and passion for this neighborhood.”

In 2017, the chamber honored Capitol Hill-based developers Liz Dunn of Dunn & Hobbes and Jill Cronauer of Hunters Capital. This will be the chamber’s eighth year presenting the award. Past winners include Jerry Everard (for his work with nonprofits and longtime support of Capitol Hill arts and culture), Catherine Hillenbrand (for her work with the Champion on Sound Transit TOD site), Kay Rood (as an advocate for Cal Anderson Park and creator of the Cal Anderson Park Alliance), Michael Malone (historic preservation and advocacy around Pike/ Pine) and Chip Ragen and Michael Wells (for their work as founding members of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce). Full disclosure: the chamber even honored me at one point along the way for my work on CHS.

State of the Hill 2018

The award will be presented in February at the chamber’s annual State of the Hill fundraiser. This year’s gathering will be hosted at 11th Ave’s Queer/Bar and will feature food and drink as well as a “review all that we have accomplished in the past year and share exciting news about what’s to come.” Tickets are $45 for non-members.

The year ahead for the chamber includes a daunting challenge. The group is seeking to expand the Business Improvement Area that it administers from its current Broadway focus to a new zone that covers much of the Hill’s business communities. 60% of all potential members in the existing and newly proposed area must vote to approve any agreement to create new borders under the city’s Office of Economic Development program. Assessments from property owners could raise around $1.6 million to power the BIA’s clean streets and commercial initiatives.

Meanwhile, the chamber’s former director has announced her next move. Sierra Hansen guided the chamber for two years before stepping down in 2017. The PR veteran announced this week she is joining Strategies 360, “the leading public affairs, research, communications and digital marketing firm in the West,” as vice president for government relations.

CHS is a CHCC community partner and features chamber advertising.

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